Eric Idle‘s book, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography is a book I completely expected to love. One of my favorite members of the Monty Python group narrating his own biography, telling all the behind-the-scenes stuff about this misfit band of laugh-masons – what is not to love?
Something happened on the way to a great book… it wasn’t. It seemed more like an episode of the old “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” – a PR piece for how cool and connected Idle is. There was none of the inside story – none of the personal touch – none of the real story.
What it did include were sooooo many tales like, “I was hanging out with George Harrison.” “Robert Plant came by.” “Robin Williams called me up.” If he did write this, he is incredibly pretentious. If he had a ghost writer, it was likely someone from his agent’s office who sold him the idea as, “Eric, baby, this will prove you’re still relevant. It will get you back in the mainstream. The offers will come flying in.” Or, it is something else…
Yes, the something else here I think, is that Mr. Idle didn’t feel comfortable sharing his private life in his “sortabiography.” Perhaps that is why he chose not to call it a true biography. There is no real here. There is no thoughts, hopes, dreams, failures, inspirations etc. I chose to think that he is not as shallow as this book makes him appear.
by Chris Doelle